Higher Power lands the Plate
Higher Power dug deep to win the Stobart Rail Northumberland Plate Handicap at Newcastle.
Trainer James Fanshawe and jockey Tom Queally combined to win the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot with The Tin Man last Saturday, but at the other end of the scale, Higher Power saw out every yard of the extended two-mile trip to land the Pitmen’s Derby.
The 20-strong field was reduced by one as the stalls opened as something was amiss with Maleficent Queen and she was pulled up after just a couple of strides.
My Reward set out in front but with well over a mile and a quarter to run, Paul Hanagan pushed on aboard Champagne Champ, clearly wanting to set more of a testing pace.
He was still in front turning for home but there were plenty of challengers in behind, not least Higher Power (11-2), who was travelling best of all.
Favourite Flymetothestars briefly looked like going with the winner, but just could not up the pace as Queally set sail for home, with Natural Scenery putting up the best challenge to finish second for Josephine Gordon.
Flymetothestars was third, with Lord George back in fourth.
Queally said: “It was a great performance. It was a team effort and it’s great when it all comes off.
“Moments like this are important. It’s a handicap that I’ve not had on my CV, so it’s nice from my point of view.
“Just to be hitting these Saturday winners, it makes people take notice, and I hope James and I can reap the rewards.”
Fanshawe, who won the Northumberland Plate with Bold Gait in 1995, said: “It’s brilliant. It’s fantastic. My sister owns and bred him so it’s great for all the family.
“He’s a classy horse and he stays well. To win this race you have to have a bit of class.
“We were thinking about the Gold Cup but the ground at Ascot was too firm, so we came here as it’s a nice prize to win.
“We’ve got a great team back at home and I’m really grateful to them.”
Higher Power is now set to rise step back in class. Fanshawe added: “We’ll go for black type races now.
“He’s in the Goodwood Cup but it might just come a bit quick.”
Gordon, who had earlier claimed her first Group race on Koropick, said: “She’s done nothing wrong – she broke smartly. In fact, I think we were first out of the stalls.
“We got into a lovely rhythm and travelled nicely throughout.
“Two (furlongs) out I thought we were going to win and I think we hit the front at one point but I’d been worried about using the stick on her.
“She’s run a really big race off the back of a lay-off.”
Sir Mark Prescott had no excuses for Flymetothestars and said: “He was there with every chance.
“We’ll go to the Ebor now as long as the ground isn’t too fast.”Read More at Sky Sports Racing